Federalism On Steroids?

There are many observations we might make about the newest Supreme Court Justice and the travesty of her elevation. Assuming Democratic reluctance to enlarge the Court in a tit-for-tat response to the last 12 years of GOP court packing, one of those observations concerns prospects for federalism and states’ rights.

As Elizabeth Warren noted in a speech opposing Barrett, the nominee carefully refused to answer numerous important questions. She wouldn’t say whether the Supreme Court ruling upholding the right to contraception was correct, or whether the government is entitled to criminalize a same-sex relationship. Despite the applause from Republicans about the size of her family (seven children!), she refused to opine that it’s wrong to separate children from their parents at the border. She called climate change “controversial.” She evaded  many other inquiries, including what should have been considered “softball” questions: whether it’s OK to intimidate voters at the polls, and whether a president has the right to postpone an election.

When she held up that blank notepad she’d brought to the hearing, it was evident that the pristine paper was her reminder to abstain from sharing anything resembling content.

it is likely that Barrett will join Trump’s other regressive Court picks, and rubber-stamp state laws that violate rights we have come to view as American, endorsing a radical federalism allowing the rights of individuals to be defined by the states in which they live.

I’ve previously posted about the demographic shifts we’ve seen and the effects those shifts have had on equal treatment and “one person, one vote.” I’ve previously recommended Bill Bishop’s book The Big Sort, and its analysis of what he called “voting with our feet.” The likelihood of a radical return to “states’ rights” is likely to super-charge that residential apartheid.

States like Indiana already struggle to retain young people–especially educated young people. Red states like ours will rush to take advantage of their new imperviousness to federal constitutional constraints. They won’t just outlaw abortion (and in some states, access to birth control), they’ll expand gun rights, restrict access to health care and eviscerate their already paltry social safety nets. The Court has already declined to interfere with a variety of vote suppression tactics that favor the GOP–everything from gerrymandering, to ballot counting, to poll hours and locations.

The GOP has never gotten over its original resentment over incorporation–the odd word for the doctrine that nationalized the Bill of Rights. That process was premised on the 14th Amendment principle that fundamental liberties protected by the Bill of Rights should be a “floor”–that a citizen in Alabama should enjoy the same basic rights as a citizen of New York. States are able to enlarge on those rights, but–at least until now–they have been forbidden to retract them.

The new approach to federalism–what one might call “federalism on steroids”–will upend that understanding of American citizenship. The extent of your rights will depend upon your state of residence. If the young people with whom I interact are any indication, that’s a situation that threatens to leave a number of red states with a dwindling and aging population.

America has already seen its population shift to urban areas. As the “creative class” (and those who want to employ them) described by Richard Florida increasingly cluster in vibrant municipalities, those urban locations become even more attractive.

Gay families aren’t going to locate in states that refuse to recognize their marriages or parental rights. Women aren’t going to choose locations that allow the government to dictate their most intimate decisions. Few families will want to live in states where gun owners are encouraged to bring firearms everywhere, including schools. (And don’t think this is hyperbole–here in Indiana, we have state representatives who work constantly to legislate that “freedom.’)

States offering universal healthcare (a la Massachusetts) will look awfully good to a lot of Americans.

I wonder: At what point do “states’ rights” and a commitment to expanded “local control” end up creating separate and not-so-equal  parts of what has been one country? At what point will fiscally healthy blue states decide to stop supporting “taker” red states?

When does federalism on steroids translate into secession?


  1. Some minority citizens are not as downtrodden as they would have you believe. Others, of course, have been victims of the majority for generations. Hope is on the horizon. VOTE!

  2. States do not have rights. People are created equal & w/certain unalienable rights. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…” Declaration of Independence. Government – Fed and State – a created by people. People have rights. Government has Powers. That’s an important, significant and qualitative difference.

  3. Although an excellent piece, this could have been written by Alexander Hamilton with contrary comments submitted by @tjefferson. Wasn’t it Mr. Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while hoping for a different outcome? Maybe it’s time to rethink this so-called “grand experiment”.

  4. “People have rights. Government has Powers. That’s an important, significant and qualitative difference.”

    mark small; this doesn’t seem to be an issue which is significantly and/or qualitatively defined under Trump’s administration. He turned all Covid-19 Pandemic responsibility over to state level governments which has resulted in red states having the highest Covid case and death counts (Indiana is included in the nation’s hot spot count) and people’s rights come and go with travel between states due to different state protective orders. And protective orders change between counties and cities withing states. Ain’t nobody in charge here that I can see! A world-wide deadly Pandemic requires national orders to prevent the changing of rights which includes some states requiring a two-week quarantine when traveling to or from some designated states. Gov. Witham of WI almost became a victim of kidnapping and assassination because Trump refuses to take responsibility for this country which he was elected to do but has called on his armed supporters to “Stand back and stand by.” to protect his personal wishes. I believe that is what Sheila was saying in the copied and pasted paragraph below.

    “I wonder: At what point do “states’ rights” and a commitment to expanded “local control” end up creating separate and not-so-equal parts of what has been one country? At what point will fiscally healthy blue states decide to stop supporting “taker” red states?”

    Since Barrett’s appointment and swearing in as Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States of America; the president of Notre Dame University has ordered required masks for all on campus. Not sure what to make of this; was she standing in the way of the order due to being on the Federalist Society list of SCOTUS replacements or is this a dog whistle letting her know where her recent employer stands on the Pandemic issue?

  5. Sheila, quite thought provoking this morning.

    Mark Small brought up some good points this morning. Very concise!

    So, where do we get our moral ideals from? Religious teachings and dogma reflect a society’s thought process and how it conducts itself towards its fellow man! How it formulates that particular society’s social construct!

    We can demonize religion for being ridiculous or a fable, but the reality of it is, religion is extremely powerful in a society which has been manufactured to have no hope and usually wallows in despair.

    Unfortunately, those particular societal religious adherents use self-promoting and self-aggrandizing so-called conservative dogma to corrupt what is realistically a guardrail against subjugating one’s fellow man!

    Love your neighbor as yourself! Love god! Love and respect your enemy! Love and respect the widow, love and respect the orphan! Love and respect the foreign resident! Love and respect the poor! In other words, do no harm to your fellow man! These moral guardrails that have been discussed and taught in scripture and are promoted throughout old and new testament. But, are completely ignored by those who claim to be religious and vociferously promote their conservative beliefs. Those vociferous beliefs are manufactured in their own minds and do not reflect the belief system they claim to support!

    You cannot claim to be pro-life when you refuse individuals and fellow citizens contraceptive rights! Or promote segregation! Or promote children living in cages! Or promote having authority over fellow citizens rights of self.

    Or denial of basic human rights and dignity! Or allowing those of conservative like minds, to shift societal and social tax burdens on those who can least afford it! Or to negate social safety nets that have been instituted throughout history as basic human rights and dignity! Promoting segregational policies! Housing, education, healthcare, food/nutritional security, racial, religious, and gender equality! But instead, self-righteousness is promoted under the auspiciousness of hypocrisy disguised as compassion and empathy!

    All of these things directly and diametrically oppose the major conservative so-called belief or dogma that there is a sanctity of life! But, there IS a right to life! One cannot claim a sanctity or right to life, when policies, evocation & advocation deny that very thing!

    How do you overcome such an entrenched and consciously ensconced hypocrisy towards one’s fellow man? Well, it can be nothing but extremely tumultuous!

    So, questionably, do individuals have the taste in their mouths for this sort of revolution? That happens to be the key! Is there enough intellect out there to see the forest through the trees? Or, to blow past the pain for a better society? Conservatives hope not!

    You really can say, if you are a true student of scripture and the judeo-christian uncontaminated originality, currently constructed conservative dogma is diametrically opposed to it!

    But, civil society with a liberal thought process, or liberal bent you could say, those who conservatives claim are socialist or communist, hold those judeo-christian beliefs close to the vest, near and dear! Much to the chagrin of some of the confused liberal leaners.

    I guess, we will find out!

  6. This is how a country gets divided into irreparable factions: “it is likely that Barrett will join Trump’s other regressive Court picks, and rubber-stamp state laws that violate rights we have come to view as American, endorsing a radical federalism allowing the rights of individuals to be defined by the states in which they live.”

    John Heilmann said the most cogent situation for Democrats last night on Bill Maher’s show. The ACA and Roe v. Wade both share high 60s in approval by the American public. If the SCOTUS overturns either or both of those cases, you’ll see the Democrats (If they control the Senate) expand the court right away.

    I don’t think you need to wonder why Barrett was so cagy about answering questions on the idiocy of the Trump years. He appointed her to her Valhalla position, after all. And she was undoubtedly rehearsed by McConnell and Graham so she wouldn’t piss off any wobbly Republicans. The Republican lust for power, at the expense of ANY policy for the betterment of the majority of citizens, is just fulfilling their job requirements as dictated by corporate/banking America, i.e., their employers.

  7. You can’t really look at the GOP because it is just a facade. The GOP was taken over by the Koch’s and several other oligarchs like Adelson and Mercer.

    I find it odd that Ginni Thomas, the wife of another conservative judge, is a Trumpian wing-nut like Scalia was sharing conspiracy theory bs on social media. How does that not influence the judge’s rulings?

    The Koch’s and ALEC control around 23-24 states, including Indiana. Check out how much money Charles Koch passes to Indiana and Ball State University. We also have the Eli Lilly Foundation, which has massive persuasion over what happens in Indianapolis. Not to mention the Defense Industry.

    The GOP take marching orders and boiler plated bills to the statehouses. ALEC lawyers and admin staff prepare the bills. I’ve read GOP reps emails in Indiana who are absolutely clueless but want some of that “Koch money.”

    Here’s a clue, you don’t have to be very smart to inherit money, and you don’t have to be aware of social justice issues. The network built by these billionaires include universities, media, churches, PACs, and political organizations. The GOP politicians are empty vessels just taken their money and prepared bills and passing it on. They want to go back (MAGA) before FDR’s New Deal.

    I laugh when the Foundations spend millions in Indiana to study why kids are leaving this state in droves, and we don’t see any flocking to the Hoosier state. I could tell them over lunch.

    For those interested, especially Sheila Kennedy, I would do some research on Anne Nelson. She just wrote and released a book called Shadow Network. It will make your jaw drop.

    From her website:

    “Shadow Network shines a light on a secretive network of right-wing fundamentalists, oil barons, and other interests, who have waged a forty-year campaign to take over Washington. It coordinates the political activism of many member organizations, including the National Rifle Association, the Federalist Society, and Family Research Council. In 2016 its members cut a deal with Donald Trump, who has been advancing their agendas from the White House. This eye-opening account describes their media platforms, their digital campaign strategy, and their chilling plans for America’s future, as they wage war against public health, public education, and the public interest. Past and present members include Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Jay Sekulow, Richard DeVos, and Wayne LaPierre.”


  8. That new federalism won’t always be in play. Just a couple of days ago a federal court told Minnesota that they would have to sequester mail-in ballots that were received after 3:00 p.m. on election day. Printed ballots informed voters that all votes postmarked by election day and received within seven days of the election would be counted. That was the determination that the state made about its own election process. Two Republican electors took the state to court. After the election, we will know if those ballots will be counted, but probably not until we see if it will help or hurt the orange menace.

    This follows the dangerous precedent set in Bush v Gore, in which the Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and gave the election to the Republican. Federalism, like any other Republican principle, only holds when it benefits Republicans.

  9. In terms of succession I’ve often wondered about a different twist on it. What if a number of our major cities sued to secede from their home states to create new states, each with at least 1 US House Rep and two senators? Atlanta, Charlotte, Austin, Miami, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Phoenix and Detroit come to mind as examples. It’s clear this would never happen through a legislative and referendum process in each state, however if Congress and POTUS created the 14th through the 50th states can’t they split them up too?

    Also, I recall reading a long time ago that historians postulated that if the Civil War had never happened and the Confederacy was allowed to stand, the US would have further balkanized into 5-7 countries, and not remained two. This mental exercise is also fun to wonder about: CA, OR & WA, and maybe NV, AZ & NM could consolidate. Texas would go back to being its own country of course. The Mountain states likely join forces. The Great Lakes states is a tough one – The Chicago region plus Milwaukee and NW Indiana could possibly work. The remainder of IN, Ohio and PA minus the East Coast might form one. New England might just become a province of Canada, or form its own state. New York/New Jersey, Delaware and the Philadelphia region could become another colossus. And that leaves the Deep South to “rise again”.

    They’ll say it could never happen. I’m not so sure. I’ve thought about leaving Indiana and probably would if I was 25 in today’s environment. A lot of well-educated Hoosier young adults are going to the Denver area, and many others, in droves. But given where we live in relation to our kids and grandkids I plan to stay put until my time is up. Being a progressive in a red state suits my contrarian nature anyway. I’d be bored to tears living among people with whom I agreed all the time.

  10. Taking “Federalism on steroids” to its logical conclusion, we seem to be heading toward something like the European Union – a confederation that pretends to have a central government, but one in which the members can ignore when it is convenient.

  11. Patrick, I am inclined to agree with you. We have already seen blue states be underrepresented in the Senate. As the trend of educated young people moving to urban areas continues, ways to redress this issue are inevitable.

  12. Patrick, it is interesting you mention the break-up of the United States. Just yesterday had a long discussion with my neighbor on that subject. We both thought that if Biden wins and there is a Blue Wave, the GOP may go for secession of certain states.

    There have been in various places around the country where Right Wing Reactionaries are advocating the break up of certain states. Why not go for the gold and have wholesale secession from the United States. Given the make up of the Supreme Court they may even legally allow secession.

    The last time we faced secession Lincoln pre-empted any legal maneuvering by ordering the Federal forces to preserve the Union.

  13. “I wonder: At what point do “states’ rights” and a commitment to expanded “local control” end up creating separate and not-so-equal parts of what has been one country? At what point will fiscally healthy blue states decide to stop supporting “taker” red states?”

    I copied and pasted the paragraph above a second time because I believe it says so much about the crumbling foundation of our government regarding “separate and not-so-equal” current status of so many Constitutional issues concerning the vastly increasing racial divide in this country under Trump & Co. Applying the higher death rates of Covid-19 Pandemic to the races shows a disparity between red and blue states. A world wide Pandemic is a a world war against what is an unseen enemy to humanity. Trump turned control of the Pandemic war over to states to use states rights to base preventive/protective orders on. Suppose President Franklin D. Roosevelt had turned the military draft decisions over to the states and states rights during WWII and the following wars? We would probably be living under Hitler’s Fascism in real time today.

    A Pandemic is not a situation where one man should have been allowed to make the decision as to what should be declared a state-by-state responsibility. Under Amendment X, it is not an issue which should be covered by Powers retained by the states and the people.

  14. I would have to believe that any supreme court opening now,if the person who was selected at this junction, would recuse themselves until this next election is over.. the fact barrett even followed through,shows her determination to follow the conservative agenda,to the end, no matter whos fate will be in the hands of this take over court..her very stand to see this through with a maconnell mob rule, says volumes. obviously, her own agenda,overrides the peoples agenda.. she is not a fair judge… question the split with politcal and a courts mind, even though two diffrent entities,she should have stand down rather than proceeded with the present chaos in the goverment..

    its obvious if you follow,the money,and who, is making the decisions. a simple deduction,if coal isnt coming back, its because,the money doesnt want to invest in a loosing bet..wall street already has a stranglehold on the American public. since the fair credit reporting act mid 80s,its been a wage down and investor profit up. savings are not showing any sign of gain..being tagged into your credit score to push abutton and get better points, is the scam that keeps all Americans who work,in debt.why have a savings,when being in debt is so much easier? extended lines of credit are the new norms,er actully the going norm. farmers in NoDak can tell me how good its been,when in reality,they only have a larger line of credit. so the fact is, wall street commands all we do. if anyone has watched the picture since reagan,its obvious,if you hate,the governent you elected,then the other choice is,,being ruled by wall street,a true authortarian goverment..

    obviously trump,is forcing aheard immunity program by ignoring the facts, media here in the U.S, sucks for any realtime information compared to euro news.

    my daughter in kansas has covid,as her husband my grand kids,,thanks to people who dont wear,of could care less about wearing a mask..all,in quarenteen,but so far,a very mild case. NoDak, is a case of no mask,or were called mask nazis..the senior population is high per capita. my respect is wearing that mask, so they may live a little longer..

    ive been reading DW.COM for a better insight of ongoing covid updates, concise,and full of everyday WTFs.. they stab trump on every covid move.. seems they are above the American media switch to turn off the bad news that hurts ,,,,the bottom line eh?

  15. The opposition to federalism has always baffled me. My liberal friends are always outraged how one state can have one law, while another state have another law. But that’s the beauty of federalism – each state gets to decide what works best for that state. Federalism allows New Jersey to have a 55 mph speed limit on its mostly urban interstates while Montana can have a 75 mph speed limit on its almost completely rural interstates. That’s just one example. I am not horrified by people who live in California deciding to have a different laws that we have in Indiana. People who live here have different values and priorities than people who live in California. And that is perfectly okay. That what can have different laws in different states is a very good thing.

    I would have thought the experience of Trump would cause my liberal friends to reconsider their opposition to federalism. Federalism has repeatedly saved us from much of the worst excesses of President Trump. Can you imagine if Trump could have issued Covid-19 mandates which applied to everyone? He would have issued executive orders that masks could not be mandated by states or local governments. He would have prohibited sporting events and other large events from being shut down due to Covid-19. You know all those steps that state governors took to protect their citizens? Well that only happened because we have federalism. Trump would not have allowed any of that. Our Covid-19 death rate, without federalilsm, would be much higher.

    Liberals are dismissive of federalism because they want their preferred laws and policies to apply in all 50 states. But what if it is laws and policies liberals do not want…do they want they still being mandated statewide? No, absolutely not. I think they need to rethink their opposition to federalism. Again, I keep going back to that example of Trump imposing his will on the people of all 50 states.

  16. When the laws of a state violate the Constitution, the feds need to step in and bring them in line especially when they violate the rights of their citizens. Georgia seems to be getting away with a lot of voter suppression.

    The only young people who will stay in Indiana will be young Republicans. Many of those who are liberal will vacate our state for blue states. I suspect that we will see a drain of professional scientists as a result who do not deny climate change as well as those who believe deeply in protecting the civil rights of minorities. As a result of that, innovative technologies and social reforms will stagnate in our state which in turn could well shrink our economy.

    Republicans who are adverse to positive change and moving the moral arc of the universe forward do not and will not serve the citizens of our state well.

  17. Paul Ogden,

    I do not oppose federalism–I oppose an inappropriate federalism, which I define as state-level efforts to deny Americans rights they are entitled to under the constitution. There are numerous rules that should be made at the state or local level. Like so many other debates that are mischaracterized, it is not an “either/or” argument. The question isn’t: should states have the right to legislate differently? The question is: on what matters do the states have the right to legislate, and on what matters must they abide by the floor established by the constitution and Bill of Rights. Note that this post was not titled “Federalism or No Federalism.” It was titled “Federalism on Steroids.”

  18. Perhaps we have already recognized a secession of sorts via Trump thugs and a citizenry voting with their feet rather than with their muskets following Fort Sumter. We have been through a more formal secession which sparked the Civil War and our current unrest may be compared to the prelude to that war, one that led to the Kansas-Missouri Compromise – a controversy that did not involve slavery per se but whether newly admitted states to the Union would come in as slave or free states, which (erroneously in my view) legitimized continuation of slavery as a bargaining point, and one in which Lincoln participated, which may explain his later arguments that the war was not fought over slavery but rather secession from the Union. I disagree. That’s like saying the Revolution was fought over throwing tea into the Boston harbor.

    Today’s capitalists and Republican politicians interested in preserving power though in a minority (like antebellum plantation owners and as Anne Nelson suggests for our day), are in league with one another to redo the Madisonian principles of federalism, principles that fare well when practiced by those of good will dedicated to the common good and workable in distribution of federal-state powers but fragile when undermined by the greedy and power-seeking among us. So how to contain greed and lust for power? Ah, there’s the rub.

    I have often written that capitalism as currently practiced cannot long endure, but so far I not only have been wrong but have witnessed a doubling down by the capitalist/Republican alliance of Kochs and McConnells which has surpassed my estimated breaking point, thanks to propaganda and misinformation (see tax cuts for the rich and corporate class and little to nothing for the rest of us) by those in charge of an economy they have persuaded many that belongs to them, as though there are no other stakeholders in this venture other than corporate executives and shareholders.

    I have also written often that I hold to the fleeting idea that capitalism can be saved if reformed but with the system’s purchase of our politics and economy it appears that I am wrong once again, that the capitalists in their merciless search for greater and greater profits have no interest in the provision of healthcare, living wages, and other such 21st century norms such as are found in Germany and the Nordic States.

    Figuratively speaking, I have reached the end of my rope and now predict that within the next decade at the latest the Kochs and McConnells of that day will be hoping and praying that the next president is a mere Bernie as opposed to someone further left or a hard right fascist who take over the economy, a move they are inviting today. Socialism? Yes, if they’re lucky.

  19. One political spectrum is liberal (rights based) to authoritarian (order and power based).
    Another that can be drawn perpendicular to that one is progressive (future, problem solving based) to conservative (past, change aversion based).

    Democrats have wandered into the liberal, progressive quadrant. Republicans have wandered into the authoritarian, conservative quadrant. Extreme division that didn’t used to exist. Why does it today?

    In the United States our founding and our Constitution were based in the liberal, progressive quadrant by necessity. We had no government of our own and a group of “wildcat” leaders had to motivate the population to take an extremely costly step. They had to agree to evict the then current European government and agree to be governed by other leaders. How did the first in line for those other leaders motivate the public to take on the task of living without European traditions? They propose the first liberal progressive government in the world. If the people were given a government restricted from legislating in certain areas so people could live as free as possible from the impositions of government, but the government had the obligation in other areas to protect them from impositions by other people, would they consent to this change if they could, reliably and periodically, choose who governed? It was masterful enlightenment. Though people were not used to anything but European style government of those times, they could plainly see this government as an improvement worth fighting and possibly dying for and they did. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_democracy

    How has that original enthusiasm been replaced among Republicans?

  20. Yes, I agree with Mark Small that it is more precise to say states have “powers” instead of “rights.” The power states have come from our Constitution and are known as reserve powers.
    Not sure Mark’s point about semantics makes a huge difference though in the federalism debate.

    JoAnn, I hate to defend Trump (trust me on that), but he did not turn over all responsibility for the Covid-19 pandemic to states. Many of the things that state governors have done to protect their citizens is part of the police power of the states, a power that the President never had to begin with and thus could not delegate to states. A President, for example, cannot mandate all schools and sporting events close. That’s a state power. I think even if the President attempted to mandate a nationwide mask mandate, it would be more of an advisory “order” that he would have to persuade state governors to go along with.

    Now, you are correct if you’re referring to things like coordinating PPE purchases of the states or Trump not using the Defense Production Act to help fill supply shortages of that PPE. There are many issues that Trump (and Congress) legally could have taken action on but did nothing or left those matters to states.

  21. Paul Ogden, you are assuming that voters actually have a say in what policies and legislation are enacted by our politicians in our state capitols.

    Einstein in 1949 observed we were an oligarchy and the Princeton & Northwestern Universities studies confirmed it in 2014:

    “A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities concluded that the U.S. government represents not the interests of the majority of citizens but those of the rich and powerful.”

    I am pretty sure that if Charles Koch told Hoosiers what he wants in Indiana, they would most likely not vote for his candidates. In fact, I honestly believe Indiana would become a blue state as would most other states since Charles’ interests conflict with the average working-class citizen.


  22. Peggy is correct. The current (post-Nixon and accelerating) Republican Party believes in “Situational Federalism”, Federalism when it helps, but not when it hurts them politically. Too many “conservatives” believe in “Federalism on Steroids” (nice phrase, Sheila). We tried that. It was called the Articles of Confederation. It failed miserably. I might add, that the “American Union” that Patrick mentions would probably have ended up as a very weak presence on the world stage, once the 20th Century rolled around, with various international ramifications.

    That brings up the other issue. Federalism defined in reference to current realities. It may not have made sense to have a national response to factory emissions or water quality in the 18th Century, in a sparsely populated country. Now, the sulfur emissions from the Midwest could cause acid rain on the east coast, toxins dumped in a river flows into the water of many states, and poisoned food is sold nation-wide. We have to rethink where the lines are drawn, not say, “it wasn’t written in the constitution, so it isn’t a federal responsibility”.

    Voting with our feet may be a reality, sadly. I came to Indiana because the company I worked for had a satellite office here, and I discovered that Indianapolis had its charms. That office is closed. The new offices are in Atlanta and Phoenix. For the time being, I work from home, but I may be asked to move once the pandemic cools down. I get headhunter inquiries from many cities in the Midwest, including Columbus (OH), Louisville, and Milwaukee – none from Indianapolis. I don’t know if Indiana could have pushed for more satellite IT offices, but if they tried, they failed.

    For the future, there are a couple of possible scenarios, including an old one I like. It is semi-humorous and long-term, but I like it. Back in 1980, in his book, Playing to Win, Jeff Greenfield, former speech writer for Bobby Kennedy, suggested that it would be more cost effective to move a slew of supporters to New Hampshire before the primary, as a way to win. Possibly a little before that, in conversation, John Koza (of National Popular Vote) joked about moving a bunch of liberals to Wyoming and taking over the state (sparsely populated and before the rich started buying land there). Perhaps, after a couple of decades of driving the educated class from states like Indiana, drastically reducing their populations, a nation-wide “reoccupy” movement, based in overcrowded cities, would open enclaves in these states and take them over. Just a happy fantasy.

    The only focus for now is voting. I voted and am hitting the phones for a GOTV (Get Out The Vote) effort this weekend. I can relax (and be freed of TV ads and text messages) after Tuesday.

  23. The Federal government took major steps after WWII to restrict segregation in Southern States (while it thrived in many Northern States). State laws were de facto if not de jure discriminatory. In the 1980s, as Reagan’s administration – so anti-big government – began to use the Fed to further its policies, relief was sought through State actions. People have the same rights no matter the State in which they live. Mr Ogden is a bit “off” when he says we have different values in Indiana than folks in California. We are much more connected as a nation than in the 1800s. (Those are scatter-shot points. No thematic “thing” to this post, except I like Mr Farber’s notion about Wyoming.)

  24. Per the “back in the day” saying “America, love it or leave it”. Let’s have the far-right folks leave (moving bills paid by Adelstein, Koch, etc.) and the far-left folks leave (moving bills paid by Soros, Disney, etc.) to their own countries so that the rest of us can sit down, have some rational discussions and take the US to fulfill its vision of truth, justice, equal opportunity…

    Too much wine last night…

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